Visa rolls out blockchain-based B2B payments platform

Global financial services giant Visa has announced the commercial launch of a new blockchain-based cross border payments network.

Dubbed Visa B2B Connect, the platform provides financial institutions with the ability to process high-valued corporate cross-border payments globally, covering more than 30 global trade corridors.

“Launching Visa B2B Connect marks an important industry milestone which will accelerate the evolution of how commercial payments move around the world,” said Kevin Phalen, SVP, global head of Visa Business Solutions.

“By creating a solution that facilitates direct, bank to bank transactions, we are eliminating friction associated with key industry pain points. With Visa B2B Connect, we are making payments quicker and simpler, while enhancing transparency and consistency of data.”

Visa created the network in an effort to remove unnecessary friction between cross border transactions.

It does so by facilitating transactions from the bank of origin directly to the beneficiary bank through the use of tokenization and aims to “transform the way information is exchanged in business-to-business cross-border transactions.”

“It’s exciting to see the hard work of the combined teams come together for the commercial launch of Visa B2B Connect. Having participated in the pilot program, Commerce Bank is excited to see how this innovative solution will change the way cross-border payments are made, while increasing the speed and transparency for businesses around the world, ” commented Brian Gordon, SVP international payments and trade, Commerce Bank.

Source Visa

In the announcement, Visa referred to its partners as “integral parts of the future scale of Visa B2B Connect.”

Bottomline and FIS are two partners that will provide its bank clients that ability to take advantage of the Visa B2B Connect platform.

Along with the firm’s core assets, Visa B2B Connect utilises open source Hyperledger Fabric framework from the Linux Foundation, in partnership with IBM.

“Bottomline is delighted to be working with Visa to accelerate the adoption of innovative ways for businesses to make faster cross-border payments,” said Rob Eberle, president & CEO, Bottomline.

“Our ability to provide our mutual financial institution clients globally with access to Visa B2B Connect will help these banks to continue to deliver differentiated payment capabilities to their corporate customers.”

Visa revealed its goal is to expand the network to as many as 90 markets by the end of this year.

“Enabling modernisation for financial institutions across all payments systems is a key tenet of FIS’ global strategy, and we’re glad to be amongst Visa’s first partners to bring Visa B2B Connect platform access to our mutual clients at scale,” noted Raja Gopalakrishnan, international head of banking and payments, FIS Global Financial Solutions.

Marie Wieck, general manager, IBM Blockchain explained: “Working together on Visa B2B Connect, we are combining the strengths of the world’s leader in electronic payments with IBM’s recognized expertise in helping scale distributed ledger technology.

“This is a unique example of how blockchain-based architecture can help transform B2B value chains by facilitating secure and transparent transactions globally.”